Cerebral hypoxia: What are the causes?

Cerebral hypoxia occurs if the brain is not supplied with adequate oxygen to support its normal metabolism. Remember that lack of oxygen is dangerous to the brain. The neurons start to die if there is insufficient oxygen for around 5 minutes. The chances of significant brain damage, coma or death can be lowered if prompt medical care is started to restore the supply of oxygen.

What are the causes in fetuses and infants?

Cerebral hypoxia is likely to occur among fetuses and infants. There are various explanations for this such as:


Cerebral hypoxia is likely to occur after diving, choking and strangulation accidents.

  • Poorly functioning placenta
  • Umbilical cord oftentimes wraps around the throat of the fetus, thus resulting to lack of oxygen.

It is also common among premature infants as well as babies smaller than expected based on the pregnancy week.

Can accidents cause cerebral hypoxia?

Cerebral hypoxia is likely to occur after diving, choking and strangulation accidents. The asphyxiation triggered by inhalation of smoke is common among victims of fire accidents.

High altitude can oftentimes cause a drop in the flow of oxygen to the brain. In addition, drug overdose can also cause brain hypoxia.

What are the responsible diseases?

If an individual develops paralysis that causes loss of movement of the breathing muscles, it can stop the supply of oxygen to the brain. Other conditions such as stroke, cardiac arrest or complications while under general anesthesia can lead to inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain.

What are the causes of mild cases?

When it comes to a mild form of cerebral hypoxia, it might be brought about by certain conditions such as anemia, asthma or low blood pressure. Any condition that lowers the amount of oxygen that the brain receives is likely to lead to hypoxia.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on cerebral hypoxia is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the causes by taking a standard first aid course with Saskatoon First Aid.


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